View Full Version : Ruined the DM's Plot, and IT WAS GLORIOUS!

2013-11-27, 04:50 AM
My friend wanted to run a short one-shot set in the Ravnica setting of Magic the Gathering. We rolled some random Orzhov characters (ghost bankers!) and got down to "collecting taxes".

While on the top floor of a four-story apartment complex, the Boros (Red-White soldiers and angels) decided to invade the district, and pretty soon out group was attacked by monks and fighters using detonator packs to blow out the walls and sneak attack us. My sorcerer kept some of them at bay with Deep Slumber, and a well timed Animate Dead turned it into a real battle while our Paladin facerolled the enemy down the staircases. The whole thing was nuts.

And then I made an Intimidate check that appeared to scare off the enemy. Thinking we'd spooked them, the party geared up, zombies in front, and marched into the street.

Where an Angel was waiting for us. As he would later say, the DM designed this thing to kill us. Survival was the name of the game, not winning. Getting ahead of that thing meant it'd bring in squadrons of reinforcements. Wounding it to a point meant it would fly away...after killing half of us at minimum. We threw down obscuring mist and used the Undead to hold her while we scrammed back into the collapsing apartment first floor.

The Paladin used an absurd climb skill to get up above the door and wait with his great flail. I got the rest of our men into a semi-circle around the door, but despite my best efforts everyone involved was expecting to die horribly. The angel made short work of the zombies (big surprise) and made her way to the building.

As soon as she entered, the Paladin jumped down onto her back, swinging his flail with all his might...and he rolled a crit. But it was off the table, so it didn't count, despite the pleading.

So he re-rolled it...and it Critted Again! Nat20. Damage hit 54 points once he burned through his Action Points (Trailblazer 3.5 rules) to crank that up. The angel was pinned to the ground, her body wracked with pain (DM admitted only a confirmed crit would hit her due to that Setting's rules on alignment), with only 1 measly hit point left to its name.

And before it could surrender, I jackhammered it with a Magic Missile. Had to roll a miss chance due to Angels having a resistance to magic. Still made it, pulverizing the thing's head into jelly.

The entire Boros army routed, fleeing for the hills because they all assumed some sort of Elder God had been loosed against them. That Angel died so hard it's soul got destroyed. We basically went from minor celebreties to God-Slayers in a single encounter...and we were supposed to be humbled by the fight. This is why I play RPGs!

Who else has a story of glory and DM tears?

2013-11-27, 05:21 AM
I think I've only been in one situation where the players entirely ignored the plot the DM had made for us and did our own thing.
My first time trying to play Palladium. We all rolled up characters and started off as hired help for the local tax collector. After a few scenes with the normal problems you'd expect - reluctant payers, a few crappy thugs trying to steal the money - the tax collector had a sizeable fortune and we were returning to base. The palyers just look at eachother at this point, stabbed the guy and took off with the money.
The game was immediately abandoned after this.

The second time we tried to play Palladium we rolled up demon worshippers, part of some cult or something. Of course, two of us were secretly members of another cult and play had barely started before we fell to backstabbing eachother and everyone died, I think. I don't really think that can count as ruining the DM's lot since he accepted the characters we proposed.

Generally, though, I tend to follow the plot. If a GM has spent time and effort trying to do X, I think it's bad manners to intentionally screw it over just because I can. I can easily do things a GM doesn't expect, or refuse to do minor things because it's stupid but I will not intentionally go out of my way to ruin everything.
Even if it's a stupid plot I won't wreck things. If I don't like it enough to play it, I won't play it.

2013-11-27, 06:37 AM
Many years ago I was involved in a campaign where we were a group of mid-level adventures who had been hired by a king to recover the macguffin the BBEG was after (it was an amulet which amplified the power of whoever wielded it).

After many adventures we finally recovered it, but decided we didn’t really have any compelling reason to give it to the king – we didn’t really trust him, the reward wasn’t that great and he’d already throw us in jail briefly after my Barbarian character had headbutted the Crown Prince after he'd slapped me in the face with a glove (nobody explained the rules of courtly manners to me - how was I to know that walking up to the top table of a royal feast and grabbing the entire roast hog was uncouth? I was hungry).

Instead my friend’s character, a Wizard who specialised in creating enchanted artefacts decided to keep it. It boosted him to (near?) Epic levels of power, and he ended up constructing a flying fortress (it started out as an airship but by the time we were done it was more like the Death Star – we managed to take out a huge red dragon in a single round at one point), took out the BBEG with it and set ourselves up as a new major power.

We became a cross between dashing sky pirates and the JLA – flying to trouble spots and saving the day (for a price, of course), and ended up retiring after becoming living legends across 3 continents.

Apparently we destroyed month’s worth of work, but I don’t know what the DM expected to happen when he let such a powerful device fall into our hands!

Killer Angel
2013-11-27, 06:54 AM
The best thing about ruining DM's plats, is when the DM lives with it, and doesn't pull improbable things out of the blue, to "save" its precious story.

When you succeed, in ruining a DM's plot, that's usually the sign of a good DM. :smallsmile:

2013-11-27, 07:56 AM
I'll have to disagree with you about that.
There is doing the unexpected and something that didn't fit in with your plans but still fits the story, and there is just taking the entire thing and flushing it down the john.

Yes, players do the unexpected and sometimes do something radically different than you expect but stay true to the idea.
It's when they see what you have intended and decide to mess everything up just because that it's a problem.

If you've worked on a campaign about helping the rightful king regain his throne and they decide to stab him in the back at the end and take over, they might be excused under certain circumstances.
If they decide to sell him out to the BBEG at the beginning and go around and pillage the neighboring continent, it's not excusable.

Playing a game requires a certain understanding that if the GM has a certain story he wants to run, the players should be at least somewhat accomodating. Yes, there are plenty of examples of terrible GMs who are abusive, pull all sorts of lousy stunts to force their vision of the game on the players or who are simply incompetant. Sometimes even a decent GM comes up with a stupid idea that just doesn't work. I've played under such GMs and had a few bad ideas myself.
The correct response to these is not to act like ***** in game but voice your problems out of game to the GM. Ruining a game, especially one that is otherwise ok, just because it's funny is being a bad player.

2013-11-27, 09:32 AM
Here's my tale:

We were in a superhero RPG of the GM's making. He had decided to end the campaign (unbeknownst to us), so he figured that he could pull a "Mutant Massacre" type storyline, where we'd fight badguys who were so tough that they'd kill us easily.

However, this particular GM had a bad habit. He couldn't keep anything secret. Ever. So, he allowed me to see the character sheets for all the villains that we were about to fight.

And I had just gotten enough XP to level up and had to decide what to improve. So, I quickly figured out how to beat the villains and planned accordingly.

For example, I took just enough gadgetry skills to build a little robot that could fire various liquids, including a slippery fluid. That's how I took out the evil super speedster (he went careening off into a wall and died). I also took some skill in disarming. That's how I dealt with the incorporeal guy who had a sword made of the only metal that he could touch while incorporeal (I took the sword from him and beat him with it). And so forth.

What was supposed to be an instant defeat turned into a simple victory instead.

The game still ended later, but it had a much happier ending: everybody on the world lost their powers except me (after I found the magic item that had caused people to have powers in the first place).

2013-11-27, 10:03 AM
I actually prefer to have glory without making anyone cry. We aren't at odds, here.

That said, I do have one of these stories! I was the DM though.

The setting is a weird and ever shifting mishmash. We did some math, and found out that a ridiculous point buy system with a free +4 level adjustment would be about the same power level as out usually optimized out the wazoo characters, so everyone made a guy with a +4 level adjustment and ridiculous stats. We were playing fast and loose and passing the DM hat around every few sessions, and the generic story was a Supernal geis that led the party to do some work for a renowned wizard, which included investigating a pocket dimension that no one could get out of. The pocket dimension had a small continent (humongous island?), and was distanced from the great wheel enough that the rules of magic were different; no magical healing, conjugation was boned, some other stuff. So everyone was worried about getting hurt, and the natural trend of the world was like Dynasty Warriors; battle was fought by hordes of low level (1-2, maybe 3 if you're lucky) mooks, and maybe ten or so level 10 champions on either side.

Well, one of those champions was designed to be a dramatic foil to our dusk blade. His stats were reverse-engineered from "this party member hits him on a 17, and gets hit on a 15", and he had some pretty cool loot that was tailor made to really help a dusk blade. Party was, oh, maybe fifth level.

So this duskblade guy, backed by the single strongest platoon the enemy forces had, follows the party into a mountain pass, where a chasm is crossed by a stone bridge wide enough for maybe one man to pass comfortably. Here, in as budding storm, the duskblade challenges the party duskblade to a duel, recognizing his class from watching. Him fight and wanting to prove who was the better student of the art.

The party duskblade refuses, citing cowardice and distrust of the DM as his reasons (:smallannoyed:). So a general melee ensues, with some interesting gems such as the party monk – believe it or not, a rather effective member of the team due to psi-like abilities and inherent perfect flight and good stats – trying a coup and getting blasted out of the air by a readied color spray, landing in The muck, and then getting a boot heel to the back of his head, pressing his face into mud and grime. Cue some interesting and frantic rolls to scrape away enough of the stuff to breathe.

Well. Push comes to shove, and the champion – double the party level, mind – steps forward and demands a duel or, as his men all ready some rather potent ranged weapons, the entire army would fall on us. We were across the bridge, and couldn't effectively meet the enemy. We had to comply.

So the party duskblade elects the party samurai (actually fighter/psychic warrior) to be his champion, and he accepts. They engage on the bridge of stone, trading witty banter and trying to kill each other with pole arms. A lot of tactical maneuvering, five foot steps. Surprise feats and abilities to negate tripping and tactical movement, a good heated match. With a strike of desperation, the duskblade manages to disarm the samurai, who quips "hey, that's my favorite weapon you jerk?"

The duskblade's response drove home his arrogance, and that this was a Serious fight; "oh, really?" As he channels a spell and sunders the magic spear behind the samurai, sending the pieces cascading off into the darkness.

Well! turns out I never actually finished looking over the samurai caractwr's sheet. He starts dropping Psi-like abilities to bolster his defense and tactical skill, draws his katana, chops the head off the duskblade's pole arm and starts to go to town. Suddenly, the enemy gosh carefully crafted to challenge the whole party at once is on the ropes. His attacks aren't getting through, he's provoking AoOs out of nowhere and needs to use combat expertise to avoid being skewered. His spells, everything from damag boosts to trying to teleport the enemy off the ledge, all burn away for nothing as the increased resistance of the samurai let's him shrug off the saves, sometimes by as much as fifteen points – and no shortage of just barely rolling the save DC either.

The enemy dusk blade activates his ethereal armor and uses his buckler to dim-door away, but he's within range of a lassoo attack that pulls him back. He activates an item designed to bullrush the enemy, which is neatly resisted with some clever skill use. He gets struck once for all of his HP in a single massive blow, is forced to reroll his save to stay conscious, and his contingent dim-door upon being severely wounded is countered by a randomly rolled silly magic item from prior in the campaign.

The enemy platoon, having witnessed this tragedy, have had enough. They were actively trying to aid their master In Escape (several actually ran, leapt off the bridge, tossed nets onto the samurai and then failed to drag him to his death/fail their distractions and aid another checks), managed to secure the body and almost flee. Surrounded by eight men trained at the grappling arts, all attempting a pin, and 16 men all aiding them with their pole arms, tripping, sundering, aiding another, the samurai gets stalled for two rounds, throws everyone off, picks up the enemy duskblade's sword of whirlwind (which I foolishly made 1/day/user ...) and destroys half the platoon, before using hai final desperate iterative attack, while two weapon fighting without the feats, to launch his wakizashi as an improvised ranged weapon at maximum range, and kill the enemy champion.

We were, needless to say, stunned. It took the entire session, though, and the next DM, upon seeing all the duskblade specific loot that the party uskblade hadn't earned and didn't deserve, had the stone bridge collapse and take the loot with it. But man, was that the shortest (but not most anticlimactic!) "recurring enemy" ever. "Hi! Duel me" "no" "yes!" "KIAI!" *x_X*

2013-11-27, 11:39 AM
I was playing an angel who specialized in ranged blasting in a friend of mine's Hero 5e game.

Post-apocalyptic Rifts-meets-Zombies kind of setting. We were in Atlantis and had gotten ourselves into an arena battle against this giant demon-monster that the Atlanteans had captured and hauled in from the newly formed Hellscape that is Antarctica.

The DM told us that the creature was undefeated and that it was very likely he would be burying at least 1 or 2 people from our 4 person party.

The fight starts and my angel gets grabbed by it's tongue and it's about to rip one of my wings off. Another PC dove in and used a heroic action to absorb the blow for me and I flew up above the creature to rain holy death onto it.

A few rounds go by and it comes back to my turn. Now, my character was built to blast, I had a 5d6 ranged killing attack with compounding and auto-fire 5. I believe it was on my third attack I rolled a solid (4-6 on 3d6) which either doubles the damage, or uses a special body damage chart the DM imported from GURPS or something. We argued for a while over him not allowing me to use the chart and he finally gave in assuming I'd get some limb damage or a bit of a multiplier to the damage i'd do.


I rolled and got a torso shot, rolled on a second chart and got a result of major organ destroyed.

So my angel flies around behind this thing and blows it's heart out through it's chest, killing it instantly. The DM was irritated to say the least, he ended the game there and made me run the next campaign :smallbiggrin:

2013-11-27, 12:09 PM
Back when I played 4e I got into a campaign on roll20 and my party was after a cult. They had sent some guys out to get some snacks and we chased them as they left the inn. 1 I got right next to them and grabbed one and then channeled a blast of light/fire with my action point to fry the other as he tried to ditch his grappled buddy. Then I interrogated the guy I had by the collar by putting my holy symbol right between his eyes. The DM intended for us to have to do skill checks and track them and I just flat out captured one and killed the other, They were mooks and would not know much so killing one didn't hurt us too bad 2. I then proceeded to derail his grand fight scene with the cult's Goblin miners' 3 Hobgoblin warriors/overseers by sneaking around behind them and firing off a flurry of arrows through judicious use of 5 action points. 4

Sadly this group fell through like so many where you can't see the person face to face and chew them out for not showing up yet again.

1(This kind of pissed me off because I was a stealth-type avenger and I snuck out the door behind the minions while the party sat around for another 15 mins talking, roleplaying drinking, etc. and yet somehow when they finally left the DM states that the dorks only had moved like 10 feet from the door and I was right by the door despite the fact that he said the minions said they had to hurry back and I said I would follow them close but not too close and he had me roll checks.)

2(I actually just intended to slow him a bit but he only had the 1 hp)

3(I scared them away as the first three cave encounters by killing one with rather high damage and then threatening the rest.)

4(It was a two tunnel sort of thing and I went through one tunnel that was small and slowed those that try to crawl through and so the Hobs went through the other and got out of it and then the one in back (the caster) got several arrows to the back and then I shouted out that I and my archers would kill any coming at us while my allies who were better at melee (who jumped up from behind rocks) (I'm not bad but we had people who could kill people with swords almost as well as did with arrows and magic) would slay as many as they could. We had a lot of small encounters and my guy skipped the extended rest that everyone else took because as stated I am a stealthy lying intimidator of avenging cult erasure I avoided most damage and had no need to recover to full health and surges so I just stood watch from.)

2013-11-27, 12:48 PM
Was playing in a D&D 3.5 game. The DM is/was a pretty good story writer, but never had DMed in his life, only played. We're all friends and he kinda let the players get away with a little too much at character creation. He had a beautiful story about a campaign setting, but in the end it made some races unplayable. 2 players got around that by simply stating they were from an alternate dimension. 2 others liked that idea, and were also from an alternate dimension, only these ones had some sort of shade template from the FR. Nothing too overpowered with that.
One of the first two was a psychic warrior, 3.0 version, and we had never played with psionics before, and weren't exactly prepared for what it could do.
Anyway, what was supposed to be the last battle of the game, The vampire has a high level assasin at his side, and an iron golem. All of us (besides the vampire) are in the bottom of an arena, staring each other down, and you know what happens? The vampire starts monologuing. Or at least he was about to, until the psywar ran up the wall and started attacking the vamp.
We weren't even supposed to fight the vamp. Period. The final battle was supposed to be the golem and the assasin. He never even statted out the vampire.
In good form, the DM ran with it, but obviously had had enough. More than enough for us to make the golem a cakewalk, the assasin die from the golem falling on him, and just used a vampire from the monster manual.
I felt really bad for the guy. He still plays, but he's never going to DM again, and it took a lot of convincing for us to start allowing psionic characters again. (most of the group would threaten to leave, thinking psionics were overpowered, as opposed to us just not knowing them)

2013-11-27, 01:45 PM
I was a DM when my players ruined my plot once, so I turned it around on them.

They had just gotten back to the king's castle after completing a mission and the campaign was set up with the stereotypical king's adviser being the bbeg. They didn't know that, they just didn't like the guy, and when the party was alone with him and one other NPC (killoren warlock who was way over leveled compared to the party, and also 35000 years old).

While the party face was talking to the adviser one of the players was having a telepathic conversation with the warlock. I forget the exact details but in the end the warlock was offered half of the party's gold to ice the adviser. It all made perfect sense IC, I just wasn't expecting it.

The warlock was in a party with three others who were at the players' level and those three had been in minor scuffles with the party but nothing too serious. As a result they thought the warlock would be about their level too.

The warlock accepted their offer and immediately blasted the adviser with everything he had in the one attack, rolled high on damage and took the adviser from full health to -15 or so.

Then he looked to the party member that he had been talking to and held out his hand.

Absolutely terrified, they quickly paid and got as far away from him as they could.

Since they didn't know the adviser was the bbeg I just dropped someone else into the role and continued on with the game, plot only slightly disrupted.

2013-11-27, 02:10 PM
Oh, here's the flip side to this sort of story. This could be in a thread titled "Ruined the DM's Plot and It was TEDIOUS!"

I was running an obscure RPG called Gatecrasher. Basically it's a sci-fi setting with magic, set in the solar system, with all the various worlds and moons being colonized and having various levels of tech and/or magic.

I had this interesting plot where they were going to investigate rumors of an abominable snowman (who would turn out to be someone like Frosty the snowman instead).

But the players got a look at the rulebook and saw some nifty power armor that they weren't supposed to have yet. The price for it was rather high, something that PCs would get after many many adventures. But they weren't about to accept the thought that they couldn't have it yet.

So... they decided to get jobs until they earned enough money to buy it. And of course, like typical homeless murder hobos, they had nowhere to live. So, they spent several sessions going through the mundane process of trying to rent an apartment, trying to get menial low-paying jobs, trying not to die of boredom (my own addition to the rules), etc.

Now granted, one of the players had always had everything handed to him, so he didn't realize how difficult it was to get a job and an apartment and all that stuff, so in some sense it was probably an eye-opening campaign. But oh, it was tedious.

Eventually, I livened things up by having the big strong ogre character join the local football team, only for xenophobes to start attacking him. But the game didn't last much longer.

And they NEVER got their power armor. Hah!

2013-11-27, 04:49 PM
My players, contrary to the norm, always do more or less what I expect them to. I go in with backup plans in case they really ruin the plot, but they never do. It makes me insecure that I'm railroading them without meaning to. Or maybe I just know how they think enough to be able to predict what they'll do when I'm preparing for the session...

Alberic Strein
2013-11-27, 05:59 PM
Probably already told that tale a hundread times, but...

We had a great, GREAT roleplaying session. The BBEG was using a lot of mind tricks and everybody played along, it was great. I was a cleric that didn't like to have his mind fudged with. And two hours away from recovering my spells. I pleaded, in character, with my group to hold off looking for the BBEG until I got my daily spells back. All the time we waited I kept going on about how I was going to wreck that Fiend BBEG. Since I had played my cleric fairly unoptimized, spellwise, so as not to be too overpowered compared to the rest of the players, the DM just went "yeah right" and let me. Yeeeep, he let me get my spells back. Guess he never heard of Holy Storm. We were guarding a door, bocked by a wooden bar. So we drew a pentacle in holy water to trap the Fiend and put the rest of it on top of, and under, the bar. A successful knowledge check meant we knew what symbols would trap the Fiend. So we went to look for it, it came to open the door, got burnt, got trapped, we came back and...

I just whipped out my phone, and started the Rains of Castamere. Then cast Holy Storm. One for the Fiend the Fiend BBEG summoned, and one for the Fiend BBEG. It was over in three turns. And that DM loves to create near-death encounters.

On a more... Roleplay note, I played a perverted mage with a clear addiction for undersheets hugs. We were two players, supposed to play together and all-around not do random idiocies, while we saved an elder mage from the Inquisition. I got my mage in jail for trying to get in bed with the other player's maid. Then broke my mage, the maid, and the elder mage... By bedding the mage, pretending it to be some sort of demonic ritual, then casting a well-timed terror spell on the guards when they opened the door to break us apart.

Of course, I wasn't supposed to escape after screwing up so much. The other players and our affected NPCs were supposed to break us out. The affected NPCs failed and died. The other player took a loooooooooooong time to come, and I had already broke us out.

It went so wrong... And yet so right.

2013-11-27, 06:49 PM
The last plot I ruined. I was a rogue who had just plundered a golden orb from an old temple. I had been asked to retrieve it for a shifty fellow and bring it back to him. Entering town, I head off to the Inn first to examine it a bit. I discover a few things while appraising it. First off I'm initially disappointed to find out that when i used the scale to weight it that it was lighter than it should have been, thus not solid gold. In fact it was hollow. Using a magnifying glass I find what appears to be nearly flush creases and buttons and infer that the orb is an open able vessel.

Heading to the tavern for the meetup I walk in the door. The dm tells me that my contact is not sitting at the appointed table and when i look around the room I see suspicious people with concealed weapons seated at the nearby tables.

It seems like an obvious set up to a paranoid rogue so I do what seems like the sensible thing. I turn around and run for the alleys. And then get scolded by the dm who is upset that I didn't interact with the events he took time to set up. I offer to retcon it but he declines and storms off, game over.

Unfortunate. The orb apparently was a puzzle box. Pressing the right combination of buttons would release the lock and open it up. Inside would be a piece of amber held tightly in place. Trapped within the amber was a sample of some plague concocted by the evil god of disease, summoned by cultists to this world. Which is interesting. Carrying around a bioweapon of cataclysmic proportions.

2013-11-27, 07:55 PM
I can remember a few big times my usual group has ruined our DM's plots in spectacular ways...however I think the most memorable was something my wife did when we were first getting to higher levels. the setting involved was a homebrew one by our DM using the pathfinder system.

her character was a drow-noble sorceress who, like the rest of the group, was evil (we don't bother with lawful/neutral/chaotic in our usual group so evil is about it) since it was her first campaign she wanted to go full out evil drow and picked to worship the setting's goddess of lust and secrets (mildly cliched but moving on) and had just got spell level 8 spells..

the situation the DM had planned was for a really strong paladin and his apprentices to corner a group in the mountains near where the temple to his god was, the DM had confided in me that the paladin was his attempt at a recurring enemy or big boss who would be able to capture our group and give us something threatening to fight against. the paladin was a few levels ahead of us with 5 apprentices of equal level to us and stats specifically meant to counter our group.

we get to the location of the fight and it starts, we're about even with the apprentices and then the paladin weighs in and knocks out both our oracle and cleric and is clearly going to hit my wife's character next turn, he's hitting hard enough to 2shot everyone in the group so absolutely no one has high expectations of a win. wife's turn, she looks at her character sheet and then at the DM and says "polymorph any object". the DM rolls the save and somehow gets a natural 1.. when the DM explained that she could pick just about anything to turn the paladin into she instantly decides on "solid chocolate statue of her goddess"... our poor DM left a dent in the table when his forehead hit, then since he thought the character was dead anyway he just let it have permanent duration and it got worse. instead of getting dragged to the paladin's temple like what was planned to happen the paladin returned to the temple as a large collection of chocolate chunks wrapped in scrolls given to the temple clerics as we passed through... my wife has still not been forgiven by our DM and to this day polymorph any object is outlawed from the table.

2013-11-27, 09:18 PM
I was playing a Bard, level one. I'm playing in a bar when I notice a rich-looking fellow sitting off to the side with some body guards. While playing, I cast Charm Person on him and, after a success, ask if he would like a private show. He accepts and we go to his room, sans body guards. I cast Sleep, intending to take his valuables. I do, but I also find a letter addressed to him from the King. Apparently he is expected the next day for a kingly meeting. I sap him a few times for good measure, tie him up, and one disguise check later I am waltzing into the castle walls.

The King, as I find out from the man himself, is having trouble with a local Orc army. Apparently the Orcs have aligned themselves with some Halflings, Halflings that the King has publicly announced as friends and allies that are to be trusted. It would be very embarassing for him to be wrong, and so he wants me to organize a small party of adventurers to remedy the situation.

But do I? Heck no! I accept his offer, and return to my room. I step inside and call for my servant. As he comes into the room, I bash him with the sap, tie him up, and one disguise check later I am back in the King's Quarters. After some blackmail, I have a sack of jewels worth over 10,000 gold pieces. After untying and redressing the servant, I am out of the castle and on my way while he is off to be tortured for the location of the jewels and then killed.

This was not a very nice Bard. I think he later struck a deal with the Orcs too. But hey, 10 000 gold isn't bad at level one.

2013-11-28, 12:47 AM
One time during a superhero game, one of players decided to go on live TV with the president of the United States(after saving Las Vegas from something and revealing that super powers exist) and announce that they(superheroes) were declaring war on the human race. He then murdered the president.

And it ended up going some place awesome. Plot was entirely ruined.

The Oni
2013-11-28, 01:50 AM
My players, contrary to the norm, always do more or less what I expect them to. I go in with backup plans in case they really ruin the plot, but they never do. It makes me insecure that I'm railroading them without meaning to. Or maybe I just know how they think enough to be able to predict what they'll do when I'm preparing for the session...

So you're either a great DM or a terrible DM. Or perhaps a Great And Terrible DM!

2013-11-28, 02:51 AM
"We beat the enemy the DM didn't expect us to beat" doesn't really count as ruining the DM's plot to me. Happens all the time in my games, both when I'm playing and DMing. With a story-important bad guy in one memorable instance.

My approach to getting a game off the rails: if it's going somewhere you don't want it to go, do it, make the game go in direction you want to have fun with. If you're doing this just to rebel against the DM, don't do it, it just makes you look like an immature jerk.

Killer Angel
2013-11-28, 07:11 AM
I'll have to disagree with you about that.
There is doing the unexpected and something that didn't fit in with your plans but still fits the story, and there is just taking the entire thing and flushing it down the john.

Yes, players do the unexpected and sometimes do something radically different than you expect but stay true to the idea.
It's when they see what you have intended and decide to mess everything up just because that it's a problem.

If you've worked on a campaign about helping the rightful king regain his throne and they decide to stab him in the back at the end and take over, they might be excused under certain circumstances.
If they decide to sell him out to the BBEG at the beginning and go around and pillage the neighboring continent, it's not excusable.

Playing a game requires a certain understanding that if the GM has a certain story he wants to run, the players should be at least somewhat accomodating. Yes, there are plenty of examples of terrible GMs who are abusive, pull all sorts of lousy stunts to force their vision of the game on the players or who are simply incompetant. Sometimes even a decent GM comes up with a stupid idea that just doesn't work. I've played under such GMs and had a few bad ideas myself.
The correct response to these is not to act like ***** in game but voice your problems out of game to the GM. Ruining a game, especially one that is otherwise ok, just because it's funny is being a bad player.

Well my point (were you responding to me, right?) was more that a good DM will accept the premature BBEG's death, even if it was "planned" differently.
Players that deliberately screw up the story and ruin, is a different thing, and a different problem, which is related to the maturity of players, rather than to the actions of the characters.

2013-11-28, 07:41 AM
I don't like it if my players deliberately screw up my adventures, but I know how to handle it. I will stop preparing anything for the game sessions. I think the game quality will suffer, but if it's what they want, then that's how we will do it.

A little story, which I have often told on this forum:
We were playing a superhero game, I was the GM, and one of the players went through great lengths just to avoid all adventures. Basically any plot hooks was promptly rejected and he managed to convince other players why the mission should be rejected or at least aborted.

After a few sessions, I finally had to PCs ambushed by super villains. It was almost a complete railroad. At that point one of the players (not the one who was stalling all the time) asked me:
"Why did it take so long until we faced super baddies?"
I felt like screaming.

2013-11-28, 10:37 PM
my friend was running a Star Wars KotOR game, set during the Mandalorian wars, where Revan slowly turned to the darkside.

i killed Revan before he could really do anything. i was a jedi padawan, who for reasons was VERY attached to his master, two other padawans had a vision of revan and my master dueling, one saw my master win, one saw Revan win. rather than risk that even happening i loaded up a speeder with a huge amount explosives, ran it into HIS speeder and than chased him down several levels of Coruscant, he tried to escape into an apartment, i followed him in and then stabbed him in the chest in front of a family of 4.

my character was arrested and i had to make a new one, but i DESTROYED the plot. years later he thanked me, the game got really interesting after that.

Beowulf DW
2013-11-28, 11:54 PM
In a recent Pathfinder game that we started at level 10, I was playing a Barbarian, my friends were playing a Cleric of Gorum, a Gunslinger, and a Gnomish Illusionist.

At the time, we were searching for the source of some really weird magical phenomenon in a ruined temple in the middle of a jungle. I had built my Barbarian with the beast totem powers (I was able to pounce) and the superstition rage powers (I could sunder persistent spells, among other things). Once, my barbarian got caught in a magical zone that paralyzed all senses. I raged and sundered the spell, instantly nullifying what was supposed to be a difficult puzzle. We all had a good laugh at me "attacking the darkness" but it would only be a short time until I revealed just how much of a face-wrecker I had made this Barbarian. Due to being able to pounce, as well as having power attack and rage, I was able to eviscerate just about every enemy that I set my sights on. Which isn't to say that the others weren't absolute monsters in combat. The Gunslinger managed to pull off some rather impressive fireworks of his own. At any rate, we continued to make our way through various monsters and puzzles before finally arriving at the DM's ultimate trap, or so he thought.

We came to a big room with a high ceiling that was empty save for a bunch of chests and a little girl that seemed to be trapped in some kind of barrier. The chests and the girl were changed together, and while we could remove one from the chain without incident, our casters determined that if we removed more than one thing, a magical trigger would cause the roof to fall on us. It was genius. If we chose the girl, we would have a plot, but no loot. If we chose the loot, we would have to look around for plot threads. And that wasn't even taking into account the fact that we would all naturally want to take the chest that contained a item that would be beneficial for our particular characters. At best, we would choose one option that we would all equally resent. At worst, we would have a self-inflicted TPK from character on character violence. It didn't work out that way.

I said, "I rage." Realizing what I was about to do, the other PCs began scrambling over each other to get away from my Barbarian. OoC my friends were frantically rolling preemptive reflex saves (rather poorly I might add). The DM was laughing the entire time, until I rolled my sunder attempt. Between my strength bonus from rage and my magical items, and my bonus to sunder checks from Improved Sunder, I easily managed to overcome the DC. We walked away with an incredible amount of loot, and rescued the mysterious little girl from her prison. Not mention leaving the DM shocked that with one ability, I'd managed to get him to give us stuff that was way over the WBL guidelines.:smallbiggrin:

2013-11-29, 12:00 AM
We didn't ruin the DM's plans but we certainly overachieved his wildest expectations. We were locked away in a temple to aid our Cleric in a holy test of some sort. This contained being projected onto the Astral Plane in order to kill the deacons of the first riders of the apocalypse. We're playing Pathfinder with 5 people quite optimized on 9th level, and the deacons are CR 9, 12, 13 and 18.

So we kill our way through two deacons of pestilence (CR 9), win the fight with the deacon of hunger and his witch cohort (CR 14) and kill the deacon of death (CR 12), dropping him into the Styx. We really struggled against the flying ones, and we know, the deacon of WAR isn't something to be trifled with. He is basically made of blades and can summon two lesser (but still very dangerous) "little helpers". We rest in the halls of the temple before we astral project ourself onto a battlefield.

We take some +5 Holy Weapons for the upcoming fight for the dead angels scattered everywhere. There we see him, but he gets the first move. He approaches my Cavalier quickly, so that I have to waste a whole round to fully retreat and set up a charge (our only hope). Our Magus doesn't deal damage, but overcomes his SR and deals about 30 damage with Shocking Grasp, then dies. Our archer does a step backwards, hits due to Point Blank Shot and deals another 50 damage. Our cleric starts praying, quickly casts Bless and Blessing of Fervor. The ranger hits, but misses and provokes the summoning of two additional daemons. In between, I charge (without Power Attack, because that AC is insane) only to miss and see our cleric as well as our ranger die. I charge back, HIT and deals my now vastly improved damage (about 100 in a chunk) and nearly kill it. I get AoO'd and die as well. Our archer kills the daemon and then dies with him.

This was something like a "benchmark" dungeon for our group and since we died on the astral plane, we only have two negative levels to get rid of. I still can't believe, we pulled that one off (because our group isn't really THAT optimized and we have half WBL because of the low magic setting, it's the teamwork that worked so well).